NEW DELHI: On the sidelines of the IRIGC-M&MTC meeting between Indian defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu, both sides agreed to constitute specific working groups for after-sales support of key defence platforms.
The 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) meeting, co-chaired by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu was held in Moscow on Wednesday. Rajnath Singh is on a three-day official visit to Russia.
Informing about agreement, Ministry of Defence (MoD) informed, “Both sides expressed satisfaction on the progress in implementing ongoing contracts concluded in the recent past. General Shoigu agreed to Raksha Mantri’s request to constitute specific working groups for after-sales support of key defence platforms.” Both sides also agreed to intensify efforts to finalise cooperation programme for 2021-2030 period.
Rajnath Singh inspected the Guard of Honour at the Russian Defence Ministry in Central Moscow. Welcoming Indian Defence Minister on his maiden visit to Russia as Minister, General Shoigu termed India as an exclusive strategic defence partner.
He highlighted the importance of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacturing of spares, components and aggregates in India through joint ventures that would reduce cost, timelines of supply and result in progressive indigenisation. This agreement is expected to provide a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, added the MoD
MoD informed further, Rajnath Singh held an in-depth discussion on a range of international issues of common concern. The Russian side reaffirmed its strong support to India in the field of counter-terrorism and stated that it accords priority to New Delhi’s security interests in the region. The Russian Defence Minister underlined Moscow’s commitment to extend all possible support in enhancing India’s defence capabilities, including cooperation in advance and cutting-edge technology.
The ministers reviewed the progress of the two working groups on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation.
The Russian side affirmed its readiness to further deepen exchanges between the respective Military Training Institutions and informed that they would be deputing an officer for the prestigious National Defence College (NDC) course in New Delhi commencing 2020.
As a special gesture, the Russian Defence Minister requested Rajnath Singh for participation of an lndian Military Contingent in Army Parade on the occasion of 75th Anniversary of the victory in the Second World War. Rajanth Singh assured that an Indian contingent would be participating in the Parade. Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin has already extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the celebrations.
As a mark of long-standing friendship between the Armed Forces of India and Russia, Rajnath Singh presented General Shoigu a bowl mounted on triangular base with three Indian Army soldiers’statuettes in ceremonial regalia and rifle.
A Protocol was also signed by the two ministers during the meeting.
Raksha Mantri will be visiting St Petersburg on November 7, 2019 on the final day of his visit to Russia.